Joe Diffie, a Grammy Award-winning nation music hitmaker, died Sunday from coronavirus issues. He was 61. 

Diffie’s consultant Scott Adkins confirmed his loss of life in a information launch. 

The singer instructed followers Friday that he examined optimistic for the virus and requested for privateness as he acquired remedy.

“We wish to remind the general public and all my followers to be vigilant, cautious and cautious throughout this pandemic,” Diffie mentioned in his assertion final week. Earlier this month, he postponed a live performance in Georgia, citing coronavirus considerations.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diffie loved a constant run of nation hits within the early 1990s. “Pickup Man” was amongst 5 chart-toppers he scored within the first half of the last decade.

He moved to Nashville in 1986, after dropping his manufacturing unit job in Oklahoma.

“After I bought laid off, I used to be like, ‘Effectively, you realize what, I feel I’m simply going to attempt it,’ ” he instructed radio host Bobby Bones in 2019. “I simply loaded up every little thing I may get on this outdated beat up automotive I had, and off I went.”

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He took a job on the Gibson guitar plant, and sang on demos for songs that will change into hits for Ricky Van Shelton, Alabama and Billy Dean. After scoring his first hit as a songwriter (Holly Dunn’s “There Goes My Coronary heart Once more”), Diffie signed a document cope with Epic, and success instantly adopted.

He topped the charts along with his very first single. 1990’s “Residence” was a pure match for a younger man chasing fame and fortune in Music Metropolis, however in its lyrics, he surmised “the one treasures that I am going to ever know / Are way back and much behind and wrapped up in my reminiscences of house.”Although he had quite a few prime 10 nation hits underneath his belt, Diffie actually hit his industrial stride in 1993 with the discharge of “Honky Tonk Perspective,” his first platinum album. Between it and the platinum follow-up, “Third Rock From The Solar,” he scored six extra hits, together with the chart-topping “Third Rock” title observe and ode to rock stardom “Greater Than The Beatles.” 

As Diffie instructed Rolling Stone in 2019, the important thing was “discovering songs I actually preferred and that I associated to. Actually, it’s not any extra sophisticated than that.”

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Nonetheless, he practically balked at recording “John Deere Inexperienced,” a mid-tempo story of putting up with love that will change into one among his requirements.

“I mentioned, ‘Effectively, we are able to attempt it. We are able to can go into the studio and lower it, and if it doesn’t work out then we scrap it.’ Fortunately, it labored out,” he instructed Bones in 2019. 

In 1998, Diffie earned a Grammy Award for his work on “Similar Previous Prepare,” an all-star collaboration led by Marty Stuart. A mission that paid tribute to songwriting custom, “Prepare” featured Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss and lots of others. 

Chart success did not comply with Diffie far into the 21st century – his ultimate prime 10 hit was 2001’s “In One other World.” However as nostalgia grew for the nation music of the 1990s, Diffie was constantly celebrated by trendy stars – by no means extra loudly than on Jason Aldean’s “1994,” which talked about Diffie’s identify greater than a dozen instances.

Diffie delivered his songs with a Southern grit that left a sustainable influence on trendy nation performers – “(I) bought my honky tonk angle from Joe Diffie,” Chris Younger sang on 2019’s “Raised On Nation.” However his heat, welcoming voice additionally endeared him to listeners, and was equally fitted to drink-raising anthems and tender ballads. 

“It’s super-flattering,” Diffie instructed All Entry of being name-checked in track. “It truly is, nevertheless it’s taken me a short time to type of get used to being in that position. I admit, I at all times heard songs about individuals (like) George Jones or Merle Haggard, and I simply didn’t ever really feel like I used to be at that degree. But it surely’s a extremely large honor, and I’m simply type of completely satisfied to roll with it now.”

After releasing his final studio album, “All Within the Similar Boat,” in 2013, Diffie had reactivated his profession lately. He launched two new singles in 2018 and had been engaged on a brand new album entitled “I Acquired This.”

In 2019, Diffie supplied his on-air expertise to Tulsa radio station Massive Nation 99.5, internet hosting the mid-day present remotely by way of Nashville and on the street.

Earlier within the 12 months, Diffie performed the Opry to have a good time 25 years of membership, an evening celebrated with songs and a slice of anniversary cake. Ricky Skaggs, Michael Ray and Vince Gill joined Diffie on the January 2019 present. 

“Joe, thanks for the entire music and lightweight you have given us,” the Opry shared Sunday. “Thanks for letting us be a part of your dream.”

As information broke of Diffie’s loss of life on Sunday, followers turned to the singer’s traditional songs on YouTube and streaming providers. Amongst these was 1993’s “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die).” Diffie did not write the track, however he made it his personal.

“Simply let my gravestone be a neon signal / Simply let it burn in reminiscence of all of my good instances,” he sang. “I will be the lifetime of the social gathering, even after I’m useless and gone.”

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